Many visitors to the Czech Republic visit Prague and skip the surrounding regions which is such a mistake! I spent three days exploring Central Bohemia, after spending three days in Prague, and it was the perfect addition to my trip – taking advantage of the seasonal direct routes between New York and Prague.
In Central Boehmia, and in the rest of the Czechia, the language is Czech. In most places in Czechia, you’ll find that most people will speak at least a little English but when traveling to a different country you always want to know at least a little of the local language. The following words and phrases will take you far in Central Bohemia and all of Czechia.
Czech Koruna, as this article goes to publish $1 US is equal to 22.60 Czech Koruna (€1=25.63 Koruna).
Czech Republic has a vast network of trains and buses for public transport that can make it super convenient to get around the country. During my time in Central Bohemia, I had a private driver that took us from Prague to Beroun to Kutna Hora and back to Prague.
Taxi’s can be arranged for you by almost any restaurant or hotel concierge but don’t expect to find an Uber easily (if at all) in Central Bohemia.
I always, always, always suggest traveling in the shoulder season. It’s, typically, outside of the extreme heat or extreme cold and always sees less crowds. I visited Central Bohemia in late May and the weather was perfect. We averaged temps of mid 70’s (21-23 Celsius) during the day and high 50’s (14 Celsius) at night.
If you’re adding a few days in Central Bohemia onto your Prague Itinerary as I suggest in this article then your first day in Central Bohemia will start with a pick-up at your hotel in Prague, I’d suggest hitting the road around 9-10am to maximize your time in Central Bohemia.
With history dating back to 1348 by Charles IV, then King of Bohemia, Karlštejn Castle is seriously impressive. From around 1420 until the 17th century, the castle was used as a fortress to protect crown jewels, holy relics and royal archives. Being that the castle is so old – you’re able to see some Gothic Style architechture as well as REanaissance style. The castle is also home to the largest portrait collection of the kings of Bohemia in the Czech Republic and a replica of the Royal Crown of Bohemia.
Perfectly situated under the castle – Restaurant U Adama is a super cute space with outdoor seating and serves various traditional Czech dishes as well as a few international options. I couldn’t help myself from ordering the fried cheese and love that fried cheese is a traditional Czech meal found on every menu!
A view of the front of the restaurant (top) and the quinoa and veggies (bottom left) and fried cheese (bottom right).
Nicknamed the “Czech Grand Canyon” this partially flooded, abandoned limestone quarry is near to the village of Mořina (ask your driver – they’ll know where to take you!). The blue hues of the water in the bottom of the quarry will make you want to dive into the bottom right from the top (but don’t! It’s not safe to make your way to the bottom of the quarry).
Staying in Beroun your first night is the perfect little city to base yourself. It’s small enough to walk the whole city and the Grand Litava has everything you’d hope for on a quick overnight stop-over. I stayed in a single room and it was super spacious, even by European standards.
Checking in at reception (left) and the view from my room (right).
Take a break from the Czech cuisine and indulge in, what felt like, an American bar style menu. With burgers, nachos and a whole heaping menu with different gin + tonics – you definitely won’t be disappointed with dinner at Blackdog Bar & Grill.
Take advantage of the breakfast included at Hotel Grand Litava and get ready to start exploring early!
About seven kilometers south of Beroun are the Koněprusy Caves were discovered in the 1950’s but originate back to 400-million years ago! The Calcite rocks make the caves that you can explore. The tour lasts about an hour and takes you along three levels, about 70 meters deep and is about 1.5 miles long.
Travel back to Beroun to this super cute restaurant, Koza Roza, for lunch. I really loved the outdoor seating space, as well as the eclectic décor inside and the menu was far from traditional Czech.
Křivoklát Castle is one of the most significant and oldest castles in the Czech Republic! I think this was one of my favorite stops of my whole trip in Czechia, as the history of the castle was super interesting. The castle had seen quite a few fires since it was originally built in the 12th century and had to be rebuilt multiple times. As morbid as it is, I loved the history behind the torture devices that they have on display and the library with over 52,000 books was so impressive!
Different viewpoints around the castle and yes, the guide really used those keys to take us on the tour around the castle!
After exploring Křivoklát Castle, you’ll make your way about an hour or so to Kutná Hora. Check into the three-star Hotel Mědínek right in the city center and get settled in before heading down to dinner right in the hotel restaurant. With traditional Czech options for dinner – I can’t suggest enjoying your meal outside on the porch of the hotel and people watch in the town center enough.
The main restaurant in the lobby (left) the view from my room (center) and our delicious dinner at Hotel Mědínek (right).
Kutná Hora is a super cute down and it’s extremely walkable! I suggest taking advantage of the fact that it’s also relatively quiet and go for a stroll in the evening.
Sunset in Kutná Hora is the perfect time of day for a walk around the city!
Take advantage of the breakfast included at Hotel Mědínek and get ready to start exploring early. Kutná Hora is especially cute in the morning light so try to get out early to take some photos.
Built in traditional Gothic architechture – the Cathetral of St Barbara is one of four cathedral-style buildings in Central Bohemia and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Dating back to the later half of the 14th century, the Cathedral is a testament of the silver miles that gave Kutná Hora its fame. Dedicated to Virgin Barbara, an early Christian martyr who is said to be a patron of those who carry dangerous occupations – such as miners.
Prepare to step back into the medival age to learn how Kutná Hora was put on the map firsthand, by a tour through the silver mines that are about 40 meters underground and you can actually walk along 250 meters of the old medevial mines! It was also really fun to learn about how the mining was done in the medival period.
(left) The white coats we wore into the silver mines and (right) me with my headlamp in the mines!
Known for their pizza, Factory Bistro has a super cute outdoor, upstairs garden where you can enjoy your lunch. I can’t suggest ordering the iced tea enough – it was probably the best iced tea I’ve ever had! I also loved my quatro-formaggi (four cheese) pizza and my friend had nothing but good things to say about her veggie burger.
The Ossuary is at the Roman Catholic Cemetary Church of All Saints and was founded in 1142. Legend has it that remnants from the monks of Jerusalem were scattered at the Sedlec cemetary in 1278 making it the oldest “holy field” in Central Europe. Over 30,000 were buried here after the plague in 1318 and another 10,000 found their final resting place here during the Hussite Wars. Also according to legend, it was 1511 when a half-blind monk began stacking the bones of the 40,000 decesased. I, personally, didn’t feel comfortable photographing the remains and bones (regardless of ‘skeletal decoration’) but you can check out some photos and read more about the Roman Catholic Cemetery Church of All Saints with the Ossuary here.
Whether you’re ending your journey in Czechia here in Central Bohemia and heading to the airport or just starting it and heading to Prague to explore for a few days – chances are; you’re heading back to Prague! If you’re going to Prague don’t forget to check out my article: How to Spend Three Days in Prague.
*Disclaimer: I was hosted in Prague as a guest and this article is written in partnership with Visit Czech Republic . My opinions, as always, remain my own.